Emmanuelle Ducros 8:55 a.m., January 30, 2024

Every morning after the 8:30 a.m. news, Emmanuelle Ducros reveals to listeners her “Journey into absurdity”, from Monday to Thursday.

Among the demands of angry farmers, there is a need to have perspectives and to be considered as useful actors for their country and not as plague victims.

Do you know what I did last night? A press review, like Olivier de Lagarde (obviously much worse), focusing on a particular subject: chicken coops.

It's interesting what I found. In Plaudren and Langoëlan (Morbihan), in Variscourt (Aisne), in Bressoles (Allier), in Neuvy-Sautour (Yonne), in Steenwerck or Pitgam (North), in Empurany (Ardèche), over the last five years always the same story: a poultry breeding project is attacking the population, animal rights associations, local environmentalists.

Always the same pattern: petitions, demonstrations, contesting building permits at the administrative court, endless legal actions, to torpedo the projects. My list is not exhaustive

It's NIMBY syndrome.

Nimby, acronym for not in my backyard, as the English say. I propose to Frenchify it: DAMPI syndrome. Okay, but not here.

It has become almost impossible to build or enlarge a henhouse in France. It takes 4, 5 years of fighting, without any certainty. Without taking into account the administration which, after all this time, can decide to request the form... Which it had never requested before.

The opponents' argument is often the refusal of “factory farms”.

An unreasonable and easy argument. He cannot resist the facts. The facts, here they are: France has the smallest poultry farms in the European Union. More than half of our farms have between 1000 and 10,000 poultry. An average farm is 40,000 chickens, divided into two sheds... This is three times less than the European average: one shed, 60,000 animals. Ukraine, Brazil, 1 to two million poultry

France is the country in the world where the breeding of chickens under label, organic, or free range is the highest, 20% of production, this does not exist anywhere else. The Ardèche henhouse that I spoke to you about earlier was supposed to accommodate 12,000 to 15,000 hens, but that doesn't stop opponents from calling it a “mega farm”. It's crazy. We call “Factory Farm” anything and everything.

This puts farmers on edge.

Yes: and for good reason. They note the rapid deterioration of the poultry sector, while consumption is growing rapidly. O doesn't want to raise poultry here. So we buy them elsewhere. In 2020, we imported 40% of the chicken consumed at home. In 2022: 50%.

¾ of the chicken eaten in restaurants or canteens comes from Brazil and Ukraine. It is not produced according to our standards, neither ecological, nor sanitary, nor animal welfare. And this is what we accept to see our children eat, because of our “Dampi” syndrome.

France refuses to pay the price of its demands.

Yes, because the French breeding model, the one that is doomed to criticism, is small family farms, with chickens that grow longer and are on average 20% smaller. And no economies of scale: production costs are 5% higher than elsewhere in Europe, 30% compared to Brazil. Small local farms, in theory, are all good. But even that, the French don't want it. They prefer to put everything they hate on their kids' plates. This is poultry masochism.